ANSWER: The term “turkey neck” is a common complaint from both male and female patients. A turkey neck is caused by gradual sagging of the platysma muscle underneath the skin in the neck and it usually means you have a waddle of skin and fat below your chin. Traditionally, the most appropriate long-term solution to “turkey neck” is surgery. For patients with diabetes, if your diabetes is under good control and your primary care physician clears you for surgery, a Neck Lift can be done. However, if your diabetes is not well controlled and your primary care doctor doesn't advise surgery, you could consider non-surgical treatments such as: Thermage (a radio-frequency device) or Ulthera (an ultrasound device). However, you will need to accept rather minor improvement as these do not replace surgery, but might help some. More often than not, if a patient has a “turkey neck,” they may have additional loose facial skin and sagging. In this case, a facelift rather than a more limited necklift, may provide the best results and the most natural appearance. As a rule of thumb, it is important that all patients – whether you have diabetes or not --- with concerns about a “turkey neck” or facial sagging, should seek consultation with an experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Facial plastic surgeons specialize in cosmetic surgery for the head and neck and will properly evaluate a patient’s specific situation and provide an individualized treatment plan.
--- Dr. Kridel, Houston, TX